Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Panic Disorder

Today I would like to talk about panic disorder.

I have it.
At one point in my life it literally consumed my entire world.
I could not get a hold of it and I would spend a great deal of time in utter and complete panic.
I don't consider myself an unreasonable person......well no more unreasonable than most.
But during those dark panic stricken days/months I was completely engulfed in unreasonable thoughts.
I am lucky enough to be a person who does not take themselves too seriously.
I love to laugh at myself and I don't think there is any shame in being different.
It is because of my sense of humor that I survived this terrible time.
While gripped in the panic I would be fearful, sad and dare I say crazy.
Now don't get all high and mighty on me here if I wanna call myself crazy.....well than I will. 
Anyway.....after the panic released its grip on me I could always laugh at my behavior.
Laughter is the best medicine.
I would like to share with you some of my more awkward moments.....feel free to laugh!

I stopped eating because I thought food was getting stuck in my throat.
Everyday at lunch I would chew my food until it was practically disolved and then slowly swallow.
I would then grab onto my sister's arm.....she works with me.....and she would say your fine.
This didn't help I would end up drinking so much water to force down my food that I wouldn't be able to eat any more.
I actually thought an M&M was stuck in my throat one day at work and made someone look down my throat with a flashlight to see if they could see it.
I am not kidding....this really happened.

I had been brought into the local emergency room so many times that the ER Doctor opened the curtain looked at me and said..."Jennifer you really need to get another hobby"

One day while driving home from work I thought I was having a stroke.
I made a quick turn into the nearest firehouse parking lot and blared my car horn.
Firemen came rushing out saw me and threw my door open.
I told them that I was having a stroke.
They called an ambulance while checking my vitals.
They asked if I was taking any medication.
I told them yes in fact I take medication for panic disorder.
they cancelled the ambulance and I had to call my brother to come and pick me up.

Those are just a few of my greatest hits.
I know this is a serious subject and trust me I feel awful for putting my children through my drama.
But I can not help but laugh at myself.
If you knew me in real life you would know that I don't embarrass easy.
I am not one to shy away from attention or shrink from an awkward situation.
Usually I try to make a joke out of it....the old laugh with them so they won't laugh at you philosophy
 I guess.
This philosophy is what got me through that terrible time.

I still suffer from panic.
If I get overly hot or get put under extreme stress I will have an attack.
I am not one for medication but I do have a small supply of Xanax which I keep with me.....just in case.
Sometimes just taking that bottle out and holding it in my hand helps. Because I know if I can't get my breathing controlled or relax my thoughts I can just take a half of one of those lovely little pills and I will get relief.
As part of the panic I also am a hypochondriac
If you have something well then I am definitely going to get it.
If I read about something or see it on TV.....yeah I have that.
If I have to take medicine for anything.....a cold or pain or whatever.
My husband removes the side effects warnings because.....you guessed it I will have those side effects.

This is as much a part of who I am as my love of reading and writing is.
I am not ashamed in fact I like being a little crazy!

Have a Terrific Tuesday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Adventures with Flat Stacey the work edition

So I brought flat Stacey to work with me and she was a lot of help.
And I needed it because I have been incredibly busy.

First she helped me replace a hard drive.
She cut herself on the fan but otherwise she did great.

Then she hung out with Jack Skellington on Mega desk aka my cube.

She polished my trophies while I was gone....
.ugh I hate myself for patting myself on the back but somebody has to do it!

She literally hung out with flat Stanley cup.
A promotion the Flyers had when they were in the cup finals.

Lastly she attempted to help me organize my cable racks..........We ere never able to do it.
Cable racks suck.

So that was flat Stacey's adventure at my work. Tune in for the last installment soon.

Have a thrilling Thursday.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Turtles chew loud

Because Amber left us to go and educate herself at University.

Her room is all but empty.
The only things left are her bed, dresser and desk.
It's so empty that
we kept the door closed because its kind of creepy.
But then Eli, Christopher's turtle, needed a place to stay so we moved his tank into her room.
She complains about it when she is home because he likes to slam against the glass and 
it really is quite loud.

This is not what I really want to talk about though.....What I want to say is
I recently finished listening to Stephen King's 
On Writing
This is a wonderful book whether you read it or listen to it like I am.
If you are considering being a writer you should put it on your list of to read.
I have always found King's bluntness refreshing and real.
He gives wonderful advice and real life suggestions while also letting you know the realities of being a writer.....especially if your only goal is to make money. In his opinion if thats what your after then you should just find a new goal.
This isn't the first time I have read a writer giving this advice.

One of his suggestions which I decide to act on immediately was making a space to write.
King suggests you find a space that has a door.
He says that it could be a closet or a room as long as there is a door to close.
Previously I did my writing in "the Library" aka "the Mom Cave" aka our living room.
But there is no door.
So lucky for me I have a kid away at school so an empty room is readily available.

So this is what I came up with

 It's not bad. The room is fairly empty so there are no distractions. 
It has a door so that's the important thing.

The goal King says you should set is at least 2,000 words a day.
He suggests you start with 1,000 words so that you do not get discouraged but that the goal should be 2,000. He also suggests you close the door.....obviously and not leave that room until you have the 2,000 words. If you can write them in an hour then leave in an hour but if it takes five hours well then you stay in there for five hours.
Since following these suggestions I have written 12,000 words. I feel great. This whole being in a routine has done wonders for not only my writing but also my confidence. I feel like I am really achieving something.

There is only one problem......
Turtles chew loud!
I was sitting in the room happily writing when all of a sudden Eli decided to eat his dinner.
I could not believe how loud he chewed.
Obviously the obnoxious way he chews is amplified by the nearly empty space but geez!

I am not going to let him affect my concentration! 
But my God Eli could you chew with your mouth closed?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Flat Stacey

You have heard of Flat Stanley.
That fun little guy your kids bring home from school.
Its your job to take him on an adventure and then write about it.

Stacey you know her.....my best blog friend
and I thought it would be fun to do a Flat Stacey and a Flat Jenny.
So Flat Stacey came over here to Pennsylvania to hang out with me.
And Flat Jenny flew out to Texas to spend time with Stacey.

We decided after spending time with our flats that we needed more then one post so this week we will be doing a series of posts about our adventures.
The other thing we realized is that we should not hog all of the fun.
If you would like your own flats Stacey and Jenny......they come as a set, we would be happy to snail mail or email them to you. You can then post about your adventure on your blog....we'd be happy to link people to your post or send us an email with photos showing your adventure and we will post it on ours.
And if you would like to create your own flat person and send them to us we would be love to show them all of the sites and then post about it.

Here is the first part of Flat Stacey's adventure........

Flat Stacey helped me with my writers block.
She sat beside my computer and encouraged me whenever I become stuck.

 She volunteered to feed Eli the turtle.
They become so close that she hung out with him in his tank.

 And of course she met Charlotte and Perry.
Although they kept their distance from her....they find it hard to trust new people.
Charlotte did pick her brain on how people in Texas might feel about a creepy doll.

 Edgar let her join him as he guarded the Library.
But she got in a little bit of trouble when she touched some of the vintage books.
Even guests need to follow the Library rules!

She enjoyed looking at my Stephen King novel collection.
And what would a trip be to visit me without some Harry Potter?
 She got to spend some time in the owlery.

 She had her very own Pottography session.

And yummy some Butterbeer!

After a long first day at Serendipity Manor Flat Stacey needed the house special.
A beer. A real beer.

Come back later this week and read about Flat Stacey's adventures at my office.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Words for 2012

I read somewhere.

I honestly don't remember where.
Probably on the interwebs.
That instead of making a resolution for the new year you should come up with three words that you will use to set the tone for 2012.
I like this idea.
Maybe because resolutions are depressing.....because I never follow them.
Or maybe it's because I love words.
Who knows.........

So here are my three words for 2012.

Not just in the sense of producing something artistically but to 
Create a healthier life
Create a happier home
Create a sense of self worth in myself and my children
I would like to focus on creating as much happiness as I can this year. For myself and others.

I love this word. 
It means many things to me.
Strength and wisdom are needed to believe something.
Magic is something you also need in order to believe....and who doesn't love magic?
I would like to believe in myself a little more and give the gift of believing in someone else.

I have noticed and so have others....ahem Chris. A change in myself lately.
I like to think it's a good thing. 
That I am growing.
 Becoming more of myself.
I am really enjoying my new found sense of self.
I worry less about what others think. I like to say its because I am turning 40 
(in April please mark your calendars) 
I love the freedom of getting older. 
So for 2012 I would like to complete that transformation and encourage others to do the same.

These are my words for 2012. 
They suit me I think.....But what about you? what are your words for 2012?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Search Keywords

As I was looking at the sad state my blog stats are in......
I'd like to blame the holidays and my lack of posting so please humor me.
I was reading through my Search Keywords section under the traffic source tab.
And I thought what an interesting story it would make.
The searched keywords words are bold....in case you couldn't figure that out.
So here you go a short story made from my Search Keywords

The box

Stella looked down at her new Owen Hunt clothes. She loved the way they felt against her skin which is why she put out the ridiculous amount of money for them. Looking at the tools and box in front of her she wished she had worn something different while working on turning a wooden box into a Romeo and Juliet project. It seemed like lately all she ever thought about was unobtainable romance. She really had to broaden her reading away from the Romance novels onto something a little less depressing. The sound of her stomach grumbling reminded her that she intended to stop to eat lunch before continuing the sanding she needed to complete before she could varnish the box. Putting on her jacket she headed outside where she knew a vendor would be waiting there to sell lunch to the local shop keepers. She ordered a hotdog which the vendor obnoxiously called a Frankenfurter on his menu. It wasn't the best she ever had but she was hungry and therefore she ate it with pleasure. The best hotdog she ever had was when she was on a date with Jake Ryan. Not the Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles. No the Sixteen Candles Jake Ryan was hot. This Jack would be better suited as the fungus man from one of the best Stephen King short stories Grey Matter. Cringing from the thought of that creep she made her way back into the back door of her shop. The wooden box waiting patiently for her to complete. Stella knew that this box would bring her the happiness she deserved. All she ever wanted was a story like romance. She spent hours reading romance novels and watching romantic movies on television and at the theater. She dreamed of a love like Sookie and Eric. He was so strong and well.....evil but he loved Sookie and protected her. She could forgive evil if she found someone who really loved her. Her thoughts drifted to all of the men she rejected for one reason or another. Some because they were not attractive enough. Others because they were weak. Until time began to close in and she had to say I don't care any more. She had to hurry and being picky was no longer an option. Getting back to work she could smell the scent of death all around her. It mixed with the smells of her project. The smell of wood, fire, heated medal and vanish. The death smell was not just coming from the dead man laying on the back table. It was coming from her own diseased body. The dead man was her last date he looked a little like Josh Brolin in Goonies which was good because she liked that movie very much. If she had more time she might have picked a different man but time she did not have. When she found out she was sick she had set this plan in motion. She had spent so many years alone wanting a man to love that the thought of going into the next world alone was unbearable. The plan was to find the perfect man to die with her so that they could be together forever buried in this lovers box. It would be completed by tonight. She would place him in the box and then she would climb inside drink the poison and join him in the afterlife. The instruction she would leave on the table would be for them to be buried in the lovers box in the plot she had purchased. The man had also signed the note. Of course not willingly but he would forgive her because thats what happens at the end of every romance. All you need is love. So take it by force if you have to.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Books make the best gift!

This year and every year for Christmas I always have books on my list.

Usually my Godsons get me a Barnes and Noble gift card which is awesome.
On my wish list of books.........

The Taker by Alma Katsu
11/26/63 by Stephen King
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D James

I did get a gift card from my godson Ian so.......Thanks Ian. 
And Amber got me The Taker which I started reading and it is really really good! 
So I plan on making a trip to B&N to purchase the rest.

My sister and I bought my Mom a Nook for Christmas.
She was resistant and first but I do think she will enjoy it and being that she does not drive it will make purchasing books easier for her because she won't have to wait for one of her lousy kids to drive her to the bookstore. 
I kid we aren't all lousy......just my brothers.
Judy and I opted to buy her the latest Nook addition because it seemed the easiest to use.
Not that my Mom couldn't handle the Color or Tablet 
ahem...........its just she isn't very good with technology.
shhhhh cause she's old shhhhhhh 
Anyway.......I think she will enjoy the convenience.
Why didn't we buy a Kindle?
I don't like them.
I have researched....from a techie perspective.....and I just like the guts of the Nook better.

Did you have books on your gift list? 
Did you give a book for the holiday?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I'm baaaaaack!!!

Whew that was quite a break I took there.
But I needed it.
I was starting to lose my mind.....well what is left of it anyway.

Just a recap of everything you missed from my completely amazing life....she says sarcastically.

My brother had a kidney transplant......his fiance gave him her kidney.....they are both doing well.

I gave my daughter the best 20th birthday present.....tickets to the Winter Classic Games.....We LOVE Hockey.

I was off of work from December 23rd until today January 3rd. It was awesome but to be honest I was really starting to get bored and my mind was turning to mush and as much as I love my kids if I had to spend one more second watching my son play video games I may have checked into the local hospital.

I received a Stormy Kromer carry all bag which is awesome because it is made right here in the good old USA.  I have nothing against any other country but it was nice to support a home produced product. Plus they send the most amazing confirmation emails thanking you for supporting them it makes it worth the purchase.

Amber turned 20 yesterday and it just made me feel very old to type that I have a 20 year old child........I think I may excuse myself to the ladies room and cry and look at all of my wrinkles.

Because its possibly everyones last year on Earth I decided not to make any unattainable new years resolutions which I will inevitably break the first week of January and then spend the rest of the year feeling bad for not sticking to those broken resolutions......its the year of the apocalypse so lets live it up!

Well thats about as exciting as it got here in Pennsylvania....how about you did you enjoy your holidays?

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